restricted access 3. Institutions
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3 Institutions As noted in the previous chapter, Bosnia’s ethno-territorial consociational compact is the product of contentious negotiations between the three warring parties that culminated in the DPA in 1995. Mostar is the embodiment of this model, as there alone has it been comprehensively extended down to the level of a single city, the scale at which everyday interaction takes place and is mediated by political institutions. Conversely, in many ways Brčko is the antithesis of the ethno-territorial approach adopted in Bosnia. As I outline below Mostar’s institutional framework has not contributed to peace in the postwar period. Instead, is has hardened ethnic divisions and bolstered the position of the most obstructionist political elements in the city. In contrast the integrative approach pursued in Brčko has proven to be more successful to date in mitigating conflict and creating an effective multiethnic government. This chapter concludes with some more general observations about the ineffective and illiberal aspects of ethno-territorial forms of consociationalism in Mostar and Bosnia more generally. 58 Chapter 3 Mostar under the Interim Statute Mostar at the end of the war was a completely partitioned city, separated into Bosniak and Croat halves by the Neretva River in the northern and southern stretches, and the former military frontline running along the Boulevard of the National Revolution and Šantić Street in the center of the city. Parallel political regimes and public utilities and services had been established , and communication between the two halves of the city was almost nonexistent. The task facing the incoming EU mission in the city was, in short, daunting. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the EU and the two sides in July 1994 was, in contrast, ambitious. It charged the EUAM with a series of reconstruction “aims” and “principles ” that would lead to democratic elections and the re-creation of a “single , self-sustaining and multiethnic” city administration before the end of its two-year mandate.1 By the end of the EUAM’s first year physical reconstruction efforts were moving forward. Progress toward political reunification , however, was much slower. It wasn’t until early 1995 when an advisory group consisting of West Mostar mayor Mijo Brajković, East Mostar mayor Safet Oručević, Milan Bodiroga (representing the interests of the remaining ethnic Serbs in the city), and other local and regional figures was established and negotiations on a unified city administration began in earnest.2 Prior to the peace talks at Dayton the three sides agreed on a set of general principles for an Interim Statute that would establish a unified city administration. As spelled out by an annex to the DPA, Mostar would be organized according to a two-level municipal system. First, the entire territory of prewar Mostar would be unified under a joint city administration responsible for urban planning, infrastructure, public transportation, and the city airport. The joint city administration was also given responsibility over whatever finance, tax, and economic policies were not regulated by Federation or cantonal law. Second, Mostar would be divided into six separate city-municipalities, which would have jurisdiction over all other “local responsibilities.”3 Real administrative power, in other words, would reside with those who controlled the municipalities.4 One key point of contention that remained unresolved was the size of a proposed central zone, which would be directly administered by the city. This was a highly divisive issue with territorial, political, and symbolic Institutions 59 significance because the central zone represented “the only part of the city not under the management of a Croat or Bosniak majority municipality , but solely under the administration of the unified city administration. As such, the normal functioning of the central zone would reinforce the authority of the city administration.”5 Bosniaks advocated an expansive central zone that would encompass Mostar’s urban core, including parts of West Mostar. Croats were opposed to the whole idea of a seventh, shared municipal unit in the center of the city, but recognizing that they could not stop its introduction insisted that its territory be limited to the Bosniakcontrolled portions of Mostar east of the former military front line.6 After two months of intense haggling following Dayton, EUAM head Hans Koschnick, in his position as final arbiter of the negotiations, issued a decree delineating the size of the central zone on February 7, 1996. Though smaller than called for by Bosniaks it was still substantial, and extended into West Mostar in several key places. Koschnick’s...